London: Britain’s Prince Charles, heir to the throne for more than six decades, celebrated his 70th birthday with a tea party and a banquet in Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. In two official photographs released to mark the Prince of Wales’s milestone, Charles is shown surrounded by his wife Camilla, two sons William and Harry and three grandchildren.

A fourth grandchild is on the way after Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, an American former TV actor, announced pregnancy following the couple’s Windsor Castle wedding this year. Charles attended a tea party later on Wednesday with “inspirational people” who are also turning 70 this year.

Later in the evening, Queen Elizabeth II held a banquet which friends, family and European royals attended.There was gun salutes in London and lawmakers voiced their congratulations for the king-in-waiting in Parliament. The Twitter account for Clarence House, Charles’s official residence, featured flying balloons and a slideshow of pictures from throughout the prince’s life to mark the occasion.

Charles edited an edition of Country Life to mark his birthday. He told the magazine about his fondness for red pheasant crumble pie and “groussaka”, a version of the Greek dish moussaka but with grouse instead of lamb. He also said he allowed red squirrels, which are being pushed out by American grey squirrels in Britain, to run around his home on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.

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